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Oklahoma Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

The Cresap Family Foundation (CFF) and the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation in partnership with the Oklahoma Restaurant Association (ORA) have created the Oklahoma Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. 

Almost one in ten working Oklahomans are employed by the restaurant industry, and layoffs have topped 65,000. In an industry with notoriously slim profit margins, restaurants have been hard hit economically since March.
"Our goal since day one of this crisis has been to help in any way possible," said Chandy Rice, CAE, Director of Education for the Oklahoma Restaurant Association.
To date the ORA, has awarded 625 grants to laid-off restaurant workers thanks to generous donations including lead gifts from the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation in Tulsa and the Cresap Family Foundation in Oklahoma City. Their lead donations of $100,000 each launched the fund that awards grants in the amounts of $500 and $1000.
During the application window, there were over 2500 applications submitted for both OKC and Tulsa metro areas.
"Some people have asked if we are going to stop now that restaurants are open. We won’t stop raising money until restaurants can return to their full capacity. These employees will feel the impact of diminished earnings for months to come,” said Rice. "We are exceedingly grateful to the many donors who did not hesitate to help. If individuals or businesses want to continue to give, we are going to be able to pull more people off the applicant list and write them checks!" said Rice.

Funds are dispersed as $500 grants directly to restaurant and beverage workers to spend on their immediate needs whether that is food, rent, gas, medical expenses, etc.  In turn, we are asking you, our community, to donate (below) so that additional funds are raised to support this group of hard working individuals in our OKC metro area community! 

Impact the lives of Oklahoma restaurant employees with your contribution today! All funds raised will support those who serve the dining public on a regular basis. 

“For everyone who is missing their morning coffee, favorite meal or happy hour… I hope you will consider giving to this fund today. Restaurant and service industry workers have always had a special place in my heart. When I was the Anheuser Busch wholesaler, we worked hand-in-hand to give our customers the best entertainment experience.  As our Foundation was considering impactful ways to get much-needed funds into the hands of these professionals, we were especially excited about this relief fund because it will allow others to easily contribute and guarantee funds get into the hands of those who need immediate help,” - John Cresap, the President of the Cresap Family Foundation.
“As the state’s largest private-sector employer, Oklahoma’s foodservice industry employs over 185,000 people or 11% of the total job base. Many restaurant workers who have lost work amid the coronavirus outbreak are now contending with a challenging economic reality. Just as it will take time for restaurants to recover, it will also take time and resources for employees to recover their lost wages. The OKC Restaurant Employee Relief fund will help bridge the gap for these workers during this difficult time,” - Chandy Rice, ORA, Director of Education.

"I just want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the gift. I am so proud to be awarded this gift and I will never forget the kindness of ORA. It came at the right time and I owe a debt of gratitude that I can never repay. Oklahoma Restaurants are the best in the business and I can’t wait to get back to work." - Charles Robert Cruzen, Legends Restaurant

"Thank you sooo much for this opportunity! My family and I appreciate the help so much. I'm so grateful for it! Thank you again! You have no idea how much I appreciate this!" - Celia Shadden

"Thank you so much! This is incredibly helpful in this difficult time!" - Samantha Smith

"Thank you so much!!! This will be a huge help for my family and so much stress is lifted off my shoulders! Thank you thank you thank you!" - Kindra Johnson

"Our gratitude cannot be fully expressed. There are so many of us that still have not received any assistance and this is such a blessing! Please pass along to your many donors that their donations have helped us continue to fight to serve our community. Thank you again!" - Elizabeth Wolfe

"Y’all are an amazing blessing and I don’t think I could ever thank you enough!! God bless you for the rest of your life!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!" - Misti Bailey

"Thank you very much, I am enormously appreciative of your altruism and generosity. This money will absolutely make the difference. Thank you again for your kind help!" - Heriberto Aviles



What's Happening
The ORA Expo date has been changed! The new date of the is Wednesday and Thursday - December 2-3, 2020. For the health and safety of attendees and exhibitors, the ORA Expo Promise will be implemented, which will provide numerous health and safety measures. Please make plans to join us for the ORA Expo in early December.
The ORA is proud to announce its Oklahoma Restaurant Promise (ORP) campaign. The objective of the ORP is to help restaurants instill confidence with customers as they choose to return to dine-in service at Oklahoma restaurants. The Promise communicates your restaurant's pledge for the safety of your staff and customers, by each following the Promise.
Oklahoma has implemented a three-phased approach to open Oklahoma’s economy back up, and is currently in Phase 3 as of June 1, 2020. Click here to view the most up-to-date restaurant and bar guidelines.
In order to serve our members in recovery and restart efforts, the Oklahoma Restaurant Association has developed a “live” google document of businesses who offer products and services specific to COVID-19 recovery efforts, as well as a list of providers for menu and promotional solutions. Relative businesses may at any time add themselves to this list, which can be accessed by clicking here.
3800 N. Portland Ave., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112
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